Power Control Expansion questions

Expansion modules and attachments

Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:47 pm
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:04 pm
I've had a Power Control Expansion for awhile and am now ready to install but have some questions:

    1. The old manual says to download test code, but I've also read you just have to set the dip switches then reference the box and port #'s in your code. Is referencing the Box and port #'s all you have to do as far as code is concerned?
    2. How do you know which port is which on the physical box? There are no numbers on the box, and the manual doesn't say.
    3. I realize this is probably a stupid question, but can you plug most any DC device (pump, light, etc.) into the Expansion? I always thought DC devices had specific voltages (or at least voltage ranges), which were regulated by the device's particular adapter when you plug into 110v. Do I need to worry about voltages or just plug stuff in?
    4. I realize some devices like pumps (and like the fans for my lights) can handle variable voltages. How would I control that with the Expansion? For instance, the ac adapter for my fans offers variable voltages. So if I wanted to run them at 7.5v with the Expansion, how would I regulate that?

Posts: 12519
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:47 pm
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:13 pm
1. Yeah, you don;t really need the test code. Just create your code and reference it to the Box # that you assign the power control module.
2. Do you have any expansion relay box?If so, you are probably using Box1 already. So, just change the switches so the power control module is Box2
3. No, it is 12VDC only. Maximum 500mA continuous or you will run into heat issues.
4. You can't control voltage. It is simply a on/off port.
Roberto.

Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:47 pm
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:49 am
Thanks Roberto!

I have two other Expansion boxes (Star Controller), so I've set the dip switches on the Power Expansion to "Box 3". Is that ok?

I found the ports labeled on the board (J1, J2,... J8) so I guess I've got that.

Regarding voltages, do I need to try to find specs on everything I plug in, or do I just need to worry about major equipment like large return pumps (I've just got dosing pumps, light fans, a small LED fixture for my refugium and stuff like that)?

Posts: 12519
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:47 pm
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:55 am
Correct. Only use devices that use 12VDC.
Roberto.

Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:47 pm
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:13 am
One other question. My light fans are 12vdc, but the manufacturer of my light fixture (ATI) recommends running the fans at 9vdc to preserve them (the fixture comes with a converter where you can switch between different voltages). They also state that running at 10vdc would provide a little more cooling without significantly more wear and tear on the fans, but their converter doesn't offer 10vdc.

My question is, is there a simple device that would stepdown 12vdc to 9 or 10vdc that would go between the fans and a Power Control Expansion port (fans plug into stepdown device then stepdown device plugs into Power Control Expansion port), and that already has DC connectors?

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